The Evil Within – Every Last Bullet

Making your way through The Evil Within is no walk in the park. In order to survive, it’s important to learn how the game’s systems can play in your favor. Taking advantage of resources, managing ammo, and simply knowing when it’s time to run away can help stave off death for a moment longer.

Get a 101 lesson on survival in the video above, and then delve into our spoiler-free article feature below from guest Bethesda Blog editor Fran Reyes. In the article, Reyes outlines some of the survival strategies that helped her play through the full game. Study up to be prepared for October 14th.

Take it away, Fran!

How you’ll defend yourself from The Evil Within’s nightmare creatures

Poor Sebastian Castellanos. As a detective in the Krimson City Police Department, he’s never encountered anything as horrific or gruesome as the case he’s working on in The Evil Within. After an emergency call from a dispatcher asks him and his small team to check out a multiple homicide at the city’s mental hospital, things quickly go from strange to terrifying, with little explanation as to the hows or whys. Thankfully, Sebastian’s never left completely defenseless.

How you weather the storm that The Evil Within conjures — first rule: don’t count on much downtime — depends on how you’ll use the cache of weapons and items at your disposal. From the standard-issue handgun Sebastian has holstered during his initial investigation to the more advanced weaponry he stumbles across, as well as the skills and abilities you’ll slowly upgrade and master — there’s a lot of stuff to juggle if you’re going to survive The Evil Within.

Matches, Torches, and Brains in Jars

Combat isn’t simply a run-’n-gun affair; instead, you’ll often have to multi-task after dispatching a creature by setting it on fire with a match to keep it, well, dead. The game cleverly reminds you that a single match can go a long way if you’re able to down multiple enemies and simply set the pile aflame in one go. It’s wise advice, as well, since matches — along with the rest of the items in The Evil Within — are always in short supply.

In other encounters with otherworldly threats, you’ll be able to snag one-use items off corpses that’ll aid you in combat — as an example, axes and torches guarantee insta-kills if wielded correctly, but they don’t last beyond that one instance and can’t be upgraded or shuffled to an inventory slot for later use. But what a difference they can make in a fight when you’re facing off against more enemies than you have bullets for.

Be it with a torch, a lit puddle of gasoline, or a match from your inventory, setting enemies on fire means they won’t be getting back up after you’ve laid waste to them. Granted, you won’t always need to use a match to make enemies stay dead, but until you can tell the difference, best to just make sure.

Matches and other one-use items can only take you so far against the dangers in The Evil Within, though; firearms are, of course, the most practical defense and offense, but how you fight the terrors in the game relies heavily on how you fortify each. This includes upgrades and managing the “Green Gel” — gathered throughout your play in varying amounts from rather macabre-seeming jars containing human brains swimming in green-colored fluid. This sinister in-game currency comes into play when you take trips to the “other side of the mirror,” a hub that you’ll revisit throughout your journey that looks a lot like an asylum reception area attended by a nurse who knows more than she’s letting on. Here is where you’ll perform self-experiments in order to upgrade everything from your personal skills — such as stamina, which allows you sprint to evade danger, and your health meter — to managing your weapon cache.

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If you hear the pleasant strains of “Claire de Lune” playing, you know one of these mirrors is nearby. Once activated, they’ll lead you to the relative safety of the game’s hub world.

Arm Yourself

Guns like your revolver and shotgun — Sebastian’s most trusty pair of firearms, among other weapons that range from standard to super-secret — can be honed into increasingly more lethal death-dealers. Throughout each of the game’s tough stages, you may be tempted to throw upgrade points into your more powerful weapons in order to craft ridiculously surefire solutions to progressively more demanding combat scenarios. But gauging from the amount of ammo available, it’s wise to do so with caution. In most cases, concentrating on your handgun and shotgun’s capabilities — ammo capacity, damage dealt, and accuracy, among an almost overwhelming amount of other tweak-able stats — isn’t just practical, but it’s also smart. After all, when you’re facing down seemingly endless waves of non-boss enemies (which The Evil Within dubs “The Haunted,” of which there are literally dozens of different types), the last thing you want to do is use up all the ammo for your more advanced weapons, when a nicely powered-up handgun can do the headshot-dealing trick. Trust us, save as many of the Agony Crossbow’s bolts for the bosses and nastier threats — you’ll thank us later.

Sebastian’s multi-purpose bolt-slinging Agony Crossbow stands as one of the game’s most flexible weapons and introduces a neat wrinkle in how you’ll manage your time and ammo. Throughout The Evil Within, armed traps play a huge role in how you’ll approach each new area you encounter. Everything from bear traps to landmines to timed wall-bombs — and this doesn’t even touch on the hugely lethal shock- and acid-traps — can change the course of nearly every fight you find yourself in, for different reasons. Employing a tense risk-vs.-reward opportunity, every bolt is made up of various parts, which can be collected from dismantled traps, but doing so takes time. So, with a group of growling, bloodthirsty creatures lurking in a darkened room, do you dare take the time to creep toward a landmine in order to harvest much-needed parts to craft an explosive bolt? Or do you risk storming into a new space on the off-chance that it isn’t littered with expertly placed wall-bombs that you may or may not be able to disarm in time before they detonate? How important is gathering parts for bolts in the face of simply surviving to reach the next area?

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Using an Explosive Bolt from your Agony Crossbow can deal devastating damage…or, when not fired at an enemy, can lay an equally lethal motion-triggered trap. Though, be careful not to let an enemy with an Explosive Bolt stuck to them get to near to you, you might just end up in pieces…

The reward side of crafting bolts is simply having more ways to protect yourself from the ever-encroaching waves of nightmares that populate The Evil Within. The Agony Crossbow is important in that it can hold several different types of bolts, as well — the explosive bolts can serve a very different purpose than, say, the flash or shock bolts, in a given battle. Like they say, the more the merrier, at least when it comes to having enough parts to create bolts; your own strategy for how to rationalize whether to dismantle a trap for parts or simply shoot it to detonate it and move on will vary depending on the given situation.

Crafty Solutions

It’s wise to note, as well, that making your own ammo is only an option for the Agony Crossbow; all other firearms require bullets that are collected in the environment. That’s right; you won’t find a single store or wandering merchant anywhere in the shifting realities of The Evil Within. As daunting as that sounds — and it’s downright daunting in actual practice, as well — more meticulous players can find other ways to boost their ammo counts, with a little help from Goddess Statues.

Eagle-eyed sharpshooters may spot these small white figurines positioned around new areas. Do yourself a favor and destroy them by melee or — though it’s tough to recommend wasting even a single bullet on them —gunshot in order to reap a special Locker Key hidden inside. That key then gives you access to a finite stash of ammo or Green Gel in a specific spot within the hospital “mirror-world” hub. In other words, sometimes the difference between success and “game over” is keeping an eye out for those slyly placed Goddess Statues.

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Goddess Statues are sometimes out in the open, but often they’re squirreled away in increasingly tough-to-spot hidey-holes. They’re worth hunting down for the perks, though.

Still, there are also other mysteries afoot among the many in-game collectible items and special rewards, but perhaps those are best left for the souls brave enough to find them all. There’s a lot going on in The Evil Within, from the way you’ll manage your ammo to what you’ll choose to upgrade or spend your Green Gel on. While there’s room for experimentation in refining your personal strategy, it’s essential to go in with both eyes open, and a weapon always at the ready. After all, you never really know what lurks just around the corner.

The System Requirements Within (Updated)

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Updated October 2

On the heels of our Gone Gold announcement, we’ve put the final touches on the recommended PC requirements for The Evil Within. These specifications are listed as “recommended” as they are the settings we’ve determined ensure that your gameplay experience plays as intended by the development team.

Recommended PC System Specifications

  • 64-bit Windows 7/Windows 8
    i7 with four plus cores
  • 4 GBs RAM
  • 50 GB of hard drive space*
  • GeForce GTX 670 or equivalent with 4GBs of VRAM
  • High Speed Internet Connection
    Steam account and activation

*It’s worth noting that the 50 GB of space required is for the PC install. When the installation is complete, the game will take up ~41 GB of HDD space.

Minimum Requirements

  • OS: windows 7/8.1
  • GPU: GTX 460 or an equivalent 1 GB VRAM card
  • CPU: i7 or an equivalent 4+ core processor
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: 50 GB

Speaking of space (and by your request), here are the install sizes for the console versions of the game.

  • Xbox One — 40 GB HDD Space
  • PlayStation 4 — 40 GB HDD Space
  • PlayStation 3 — 7 GB HDD Space
  • Xbox 360 — 7 GB
    • Note: The Evil Within requires a mandatory install to the Xbox 360’s HDD or a USB 2.0 (or higher) flash drive.

Gone Gold!

Putting out a game on five platforms (PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4) across multiple regions is no easy feat, but we’re excited to announce The Evil Within has officially “Gone Gold”!

Congrats to everyone at Tango Gameworks and everyone else that was involved in the process of making the game — your hard work has helped create a survival horror game that we believe people will be talking about for a long time.

If you’ve been cowering under your covers up until now, The Evil Within arrives on Tuesday, October 14th in Europe and North America, October 16th for New Zealand and Australia, and October 23rd for Japan.

Stay tuned for more updates on The Evil Within.

‘Bethesda Behind the Scenes’ presents… The Evil Within

How does the creator of Survival Horror define the genre? What films have had the most influence for Tango Gameworks? What scares Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks?

These questions, and many more, are answered in a new Bethesda Behind-the-Scenes web series we worked on with Adam Sessler. During a recent trip to Tango Gameworks’ studio in Tokyo, Japan, Game Director Shinji Mikami and other members of the Tango team opened up to Sessler about The Evil Within and their studio culture like never before. Just wait until you see Mikami-san break out into laughter!

To kick off the web series, we’re starting with three videos today. The first (embedded above) is Sessler’s introduction to the series — setting the stage for what you can expect between now and next month.

For a closer look at gameplay, the series’ next video, ‘The Art of Survival’ features Mikami-san and Producer Masato Kimura as they delve into the gameplay mechanics of “pure survival horror” – discussing traps, enemies, and other terrors that await you when playing The Evil Within.

From there, we go “Inside The Mind of Shinji Mikami” — an intimate journey through The Evil Within’s inception as Shinji Mikami discusses the paths he took in creating his newest survival horror game, his philosophies on game design, and how we works with the team at Tango for coming up with ideas.

Next week and throughout October, be on the lookout for more videos explaining the game’s making, monsters, and of course, plenty more Mikami.

PAX Prime: The Evil Within, BATTLECRY, and The Elder Scrolls Online Take Center Stage!

Easily one of the most fun weeks of the year is attending PAX Prime in Seattle. Closing out the summer meeting some of our biggest fans is always a thrill. And if you’ve ever been to Seattle, the weather in late August/early September is damn near perfect.

For Bethesda’s 7th PAX Prime, we’ve got a pretty exciting lineup — we’re showcasing The Evil Within, BATTLECRY, and The Elder Scrolls Online.

With less than two months until its October 14th release, we’re celebrating The Evil Within, Shinji Mikami’s return to survival horror, in a major way. By visiting our booth in the Washington Convention Center, you’ll have a chance to go hands-on with the game on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4. What’s more, we’ll have multiple contests during the week for a chance to win custom Xbox One consoles and a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia that’s sure to charm terrify your friends and family. And don’t worry, fans at home will have a chance to win, too — more details later this week.

Mock-ups of customized Xbox One consoles that lucky winners will have a chance to score! More details to come!

Also at the Bethesda PAX booth, multiplayer madness will be in full effect for both The Elder Scrolls Online and BATTLECRY. With the the former, ESO veterans (and newcomers) will have a chance to participate in tense, 3v3v3 multiplayer in Colovian Crossing — a special capture-the-flag PvP worth checking out. It’s a real treat.

All players that check out ESO will come away with something special, too — a download code for a limited edition Bristlegut Pig pet to accompany you in your Tamriel travels.

Meanwhile for BATTLECRY, we’ll be showcasing 8v8 matches in an all-new game mode, Land Grab, with plenty of loot for players to grab. All participants will score a BATTLECRY pin for playing. But winning teams will have an opportunity for even more prizes, including…

… this Cossacks vs. Royal Marines lithograph signed by the game’s Creative Director Viktor Antonov if you win one match, and… 

… one of these PAX Prime BATTLECRY faction t-shirts if your team wins two consecutive matches.

PAX Prime takes place August 29th – September 1st at the Washington Convention Center in Seattle, WA. Stay tuned here on the blog and follow our @bethblog, @battlecry_game, @tesonline, and @theevilwithin Twitter accounts for updates through the week!

Bethesda Underground Presents: The Evil Within – The American

As we draw nearer to “The Evil Within’s” release date (October 14 in North America, October 17th in Europe), we’re giving you a closer look at the names and faces of Tango Gameworks — the developers behind Shinji Mikami’s return to survival horror. These videos come from a recent trip to Tango’s office located in Tokyo, Japan.

Meet Tango Gameworks’ Level Designer, John Johanas – AKA ‘The American’.

For more Bethesda Underground videos, check out playlist here.

Around the Web – Swede Interview Edition

What’s new on the web? Plenty!

With Wolfenstein out for more than a month now, Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek caught up with MachineGames’ creative director, Jens Matthies, for a must-read interview. Topics covered include: what it takes to make a Wolfenstein game, spoilers [alert!] about the ending, and what’s on the horizon for MachineGames.

Here’s an excerpt…

Giant Bomb: So you actually liked the idea of trying to resolve the potential contradictions in the story you wanted to tell with the legacy of the storytelling in Wolfenstein?

Jens Matthies: Yeah, of course. We want this to be part of a greater saga. That said, of course, this game stands completely on its own. It’s not a requirement that you play anything of the previous games. You can be completely new to Wolfenstein and have a complete experience. But we also want to build upon things that have been established on their own.

Who else is putting their post-mortem wrap on Wolfenstein? The Escapist. One of the site’s feature writers, Shamus Young, shares his surprise in how great the game ended up being — drawing comparisons to Valve’s Half-Life 2. Read Shamus’ article here.

Going from what’s already out to what’s coming later this year, we move to The Evil Within. And with The Evil Within at E3, you also get plenty of face time with Shini Mikami. Read a pair of interviews with him at both Metro UK and Telegraph.

Previewed in a dark room, we had to be careful not to make players scream at the top of their lungs as we strolled by. Below are some E3 highlights…

Official Xbox Magazine – “… it could be the modern Resident Evil that fans like me have been waiting for.”

Platform Nation – “Bewildered by the blank wall, I turn around and the hall goes all hazy, riddled with static, and then the doctor and patient disappear after the kid gives some sort of creepy psycho premonition speech. The hallway ends at a door that wasn’t there before, and the other side appears to go on interminably. It’s disconcerting to say the least.”

USA Today — Watch a new video preview with Pete Hines.

Closing out our wrap up, read impressed impressions from folks that tried BattleCry Studios’ self-titled debut. Among recent previews, USA Today ranked the game as one of their Top 10 game of the show. Previews below…

Quest Gaming Network – “Fast and fluid, pretty yet gritty; BattleCry Studios seem to know what their doing, which is no surprise with vets from all around the industry in their ranks.”

Tom’s Hardware – “BATTLECRY in its present state was a blast. A number of us played as the Cossacks while another set played as the Royal Marines. Because there is no gunpowder in this alternate timeline, players must rely on melee and basic ranged weapons such as swords, bows, energy-powered blades and more. That made the gameplay feel a bit more personal and frantic.”

USA Today – “It’s a fascinating approach for an online multiplayer game, which anyone with a headset and public chat settings enabled will tell you is sometimes a hostile experience.”

Terrified by ‘The Evil Within’ + Hands-On Impressions!

Thanks to play testers we learn a lot about our games that help us make a better project. Specifically with The Evil Within, we’ve also received plenty of entertainment value. In our latest trailer for the game, watch actual reactions from playtesters as they get their hands on the game for the first time.

The Evil Within will now terrify players right in the thick of Halloween season – releasing on October 21st in North America, October 23rd in Australia, and throughout Europe on October 24th, 2014. With your pre-order of the game, you’ll receive The Fighting Chance Pack, which includes:

  • Medical Kit – A vital health enhancement to enable Sebastian to fight on.
  • Green Gel – Used to upgrade Sebastian’s attributes.
  • Double Barrel Shotgun and Three Shells – A larger and more formidable shotgun than the regular shotgun, it’s useful for tight situations with multiple encroaching enemies.
  • An Incendiary Agony Bolt – Capable of showering nearby enemies with damaging fire sparks.
  • A Poison Agony Bolt – Will draw enemies towards it and poison them, allowing Sebastian time for a quick escape.

For more on the game, check out these fresh hands-on impressions that went up today…

Gameplanet –“The Evil Within looks set to herald a frightening and exhilarating new dawn for survival horror.”

Joystiq — “The game is trying to unsettle me, and it’s doing a pretty good job of it. Just as I catch my breath, Spider-Girl bursts out of what was a harmless looking corpse, and now I have to run.”

MMGN –“The Evil Within is survival horror in its truest form, and the return of a once great genre I feared was lost to the mass market addicted to relentless action.”

Shacknews — “The Evil Within’s approach to survival horror feels vintage, in a good way. Limited resources help add to the tension and there are also some genuinely scary moments. The combat also helps add to the horror environments, with firearms meant to subdue, not dominate.”

Videogamer — “Having played it for a couple of hours it’s become clear that he’s close to achieving his goal: namely, returning to the horror staples he helped define in 1996 with Resi, and obliterate in 2005 with Resi 4.”

PC Gamer — “As someone who counts Resident Evil 4 among their all-time favourite games, The Evil Within has an extra layer of significance for me. ”

Polygon — “It feels like a game that builds upon what Mikami is best known for — survival horror — while taking the genre into a new direction, one without the restrictions a legacy franchise like Resident Evil carries with it. ”

Telegraph UK — “The Evil Within is shaping up to be the terrifying and triumphant horror comeback for Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.”

GameReactor —  “It’s the Japanese survival horror evolved.”

GameCrate — ” I was wearing a Gear Fit when I played, and had it record my heart rate right after I left the demo. My normal resting heart rate is 75 beats per minute…and after an hour and a half with The Evil Within, it was 117.”

Expert Reviews — “After 2 hours it felt like we were only just scratching the surface and were left wanting more.”

Neoseeker — “The time I spent with The Evil Within might very well be the longest two hours of my life, and that’s okay. As the survival horror genre makes its comeback, Shinji Mikami appears to have taken the opportunity to show he’s still a master at his craft.”

Bloody-Disgusting — “The Evil Within is a great horror game.”

AusGamers — ” Lights out, volume up and all alone — I may be white-haired and frail once the experience is over, but to be taken back to that place Mikami created oh-so long ago…”

The Sydney Morning Herald — “Fans of old school horror should be looking forward to this one.”

The Escapist — Watch Andrea Rene’s reaction to playing the game in the video embed below…

 

Weekend Update: Polygon explores the journey of Shinji Mikami

From developing the SNES  adaptation of Aladdin to a whole new world — Shinji Mikami became the king of survival horror. During your weekend, head to Polygon and read Matt Leone’s feature, “Shinji Mikami and the Fountain of Youth”. The article chronicles his career and focuses on the youth movement he believes is important for the success of Tango Gameworks and the games they develop.

As announced last week, Mikami’s latest game, The Evil Within, releases this summer on August 26th in North America and across Europe on August 29th

Read “Shinji Mikami and the Fountain of Youth”  and read others stories from around the web…

That’s all for now. Enjoy your weekend!

Be Still Your Heart, Valentine

We’ve got a little red on us to this Valentine’s Day thanks to Laura from The Evil Within. Isn’t she just to die for? Don’t let your Valentine squeeze the life out of you.

Have a “I’d take your arrow to my knee” Skyrim valentine? Maybe a Dishonored “Blink into my heart”? Exchange your valentines with us by linking them in a comment below or by sending them to bethblog@bethsoft.com.

The Evil Within emerges onto to shelves August 26th, 2014 as announced earlier today.

Here’s wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.